Khris Middleton scored a game-high 31 points and the Milwaukee Bucks used brilliant shooting from three-point range to gradually pull away from the visiting Golden State Warriors for a 138-99 blowout win on Christmas Day.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to 15 points on 4-for-14 shooting, but Middleton and four other team-mates scored in double figures as the Bucks quickly erased the bad taste of a last-second loss at Boston with their first win of the season.
Stephen Curry had a team-high 19 points and rookie James Wiseman 18 for the Warriors, who have been outscored by a combined 65 points in their first two games.
Middleton made 6-of-8 three-pointers, including two straight in a 19-7 Bucks burst in the third period that turned a competitive 72-64 game into a 20-point advantage.
Donte DiVincenzo and D.J. Augustin each connected on three three-pointers in 13-point performances, while D.J. Wilson also hit three treys to account for all nine of his points for the Bucks, who were the NBA’s winningest team in the regular season last year.
Jrue Holiday totalled 12 points and a team-high six assists, while Bobby Portis logged a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double for Milwaukee, which shot 54.9 per cent overall and 20-for-37 (54.1 per cent) from beyond the arc.
The Bucks also outrebounded the Warriors 69-49, with Antetokounmpo complementing his 15 points with a game-high 13 boards. Andrew Wiggins (12 points), Brad Wanamaker (11) and Jordan Poole (11) also scored in double figures for the Warriors, who shot just 34.3 per cent overall and 10-for-45 (22.2 per cent) on three-pointers.
Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, had a team-high eight rebounds and three blocks. Antetokounmpo struggled in the first half, missing five of his six shots and seven of his 11 free throws, but the Bucks nonetheless managed a 66-56 lead at the break.
They never looked back and they continued their dominance throughout the second half to bounce back from a one-point defeat against Boston in their opening game.
However, for the Warriors, who lost by 26 points on opening night to Brooklyn, it was another reminder of the work facing them this season.